Science editor position at Biotext

Biotext is looking for a motivated science editor to join our team.

Biotext turns complex science and policy information into effective publications. For more than 15 years, we have produced publications for scientific agencies, government departments, academic and nongovernment organisations, both in Australia and overseas. Biotext is an acknowledged leader in science writing, editing and design, specialising in health and biomedical science, environment, agriculture and government.

Working closely with our editing and design teams, your main duties will be editing and proofreading a wide range of publications, including reports, guidelines, fact sheets and web content. There may also be opportunities to write or rewrite content.

We are looking for someone who is keen to use and further develop their editing skills, and work with clients and the Biotext team to produce high-quality publications that exceed client expectations.

Essential criteria

  • A keen interest in science and clear scientific communication
  • Tertiary qualifications in science, health or biomedical science, and/or communications
  • Training and/or experience in science writing and editing
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Word, including formatting using templates
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a team

Desirable criteria

  • Accredited editor with the Institute of Professional Editors (Australia), Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (USA) or equivalent
  • Experience in using style guides and style sheets
  • Experience in managing the publication process
  • Experience in business development, marketing and communication

Hours: Full time (flexible working hours available)

Salary: Negotiable based on qualifications, experience and skills

Start date: February or March 2017

Location: Bruce, Canberra
Biotext also has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, but the successful candidate must be prepared to work in the Canberra office.

Applications: Applications should be lodged by email (With ‘Editor application’ as the subject line) and include a cover letter addressing the selection criteria and a résumé, including the names of at least 2 referees. Applications close on 10 February 2017.
Shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake short writing, editing and proofreading tests.

Contact: Kylie Evans, email, ph 6282 2280

Getting your science style right – there’s a new guide to help

Should it be ‘compare with’ or ‘compare to’? When do you use a pie graph? Is there a space between the number and the unit? Should it be ‘Earth’, or ‘the Earth’? Do you capitalise ‘government’?*

The answers to all these questions and more can now be found in the online Australian manual of scientific style (AMOSS), developed by Biotext. AMOSS was released in October 2016, and is already generating interest from science communicators and government departments. As part of our commitment to the community of Australian science communicators, Biotext would like to offer a discounted subscription rate of $50 to ASC group members – just email for the code.

Until now, there has been no Australian science style manual. People have relied on overseas guides, general writing guides or guides that focused on only one field of science. Biotext found itself in a position to provide a style guide that covered a wide range of disciplines, for the Australian context.

Why could Biotext do this? Biotext, established in 1999, is a Canberra company specialising in science writing, editing and design. Biotext’s team of writers, editors and designers had developed a range of resources over the years, including a style guide for common science and technical terms, guidance on data visualisation, and training materials on science writing and editing.

In other words, we know what the science communication community needs because we are also the users of the manual! AMOSS:

  • brings together scientific conventions and standards for many scientific disciplines and aspects of communication, from writing clearly to getting a graph right
  • is researched, written and tested specifically for an Australian audience
  • is online, searchable and dynamic.

And we encourage users to be part of the ‘AMOSS community’. ASC members are invited to provide feedback about the manual in general or in their own fields of expertise. We will be regularly updating and expanding AMOSS, and we welcome all ideas and comments, which may be incorporated in the current version or future versions. Since we are mainly a bio-focused organisation, some disciplines in particular would benefit from additional information. For example, we would appreciate input in the fields of:

  • geography
  • climate science
  • physics
  • Earth and the universe.

Even if you don’t subscribe, you can see the extent of the topics AMOSS covers by visiting

* ‘Compare with’ means to consider similarities or differences between 2 or more items, whereas ‘compare to’ means to liken to; almost never; yes; Earth; no.